Mark Hirleman leads EPT Copenhagen as Peter Eastgate makes comeback

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Things got under way just as we expected in Copenhagen today. A room full of players, tables stacked with chips, eight levels and no dinner break. So eight hours later it's situation normal on the European Poker Tour. While we lost 80 players the surviving 133 profited gladly from their demise. Most glad tonight is Mark Hirleman.

Hirleman, from Arizona, leads after the opening day, bagging up 163,400, and while taking the lead on the first day is no guarantee of later success, it's hardly something to wave your hand at. Hirleman played standard, no-messing-about poker today, the type that with a little ingenuity here and there, will stand you in good stead for Day 2. The same goes for Per Linde, from Sweden, who trails on 150,900.

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Chip leader Mark Hirleman

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Per Linde

Elsewhere amid the players bagging up and making their way out into the minus six degree taxi rank, and then back in to the 22 degree hotel bar, stand a few familiar faces.

EPT Tournament Leader Board chief Fernando Brito is among tonight's leaders with 99,300 chips, while Annette Obrestad finished with 102,300, details of which are below.

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Annette Obrestad

Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden also had a good day, never wavering in his mission, one that featured a principle aim of ending the day on a stack of 62,400. Mission accomplished.

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Johnny Lodden

Today also marked the welcome return of Peter Eastgate after his much publicised six-month hiatus. Eastgate, who looks no different from the Eastgate of yore, struggled early on (it's just like getting back on a bike) but was soon into the swing of things, swinging up to 73,300 chips at the close.

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Wearing the same game face, Peter Eastgate

Others to look out for when they return on Wednesday for Day 2 include Dean Thompson on 120,000, Rob Akery on 119,500, Koen Schiepers on 100,000, Kent Lundmark on 87,500, Kevin Stani on 73,200, Arnaud Mattern on 38,100, Team Online's Anders Berg on 25,200 and Ville Wahlbeck on a never-say-die 12,300.

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Arnaud Mattern

They were heads to the tails of James Akenhead, Oscar Kroon and Team PokerStars Pro Theo Jorgensen, all of whom were sent to the rail during the course of the day.

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Theo Jorgensen

Anton Wigg was among the last to bust, a shock elimination only confirmed after the tournament room had cleared. The defending champion, playing 12 months to the day that he lifted EPT silverware, had at one stage been the clear chip leader, but he ran into Obrestad with minutes left on the clock. Wigg held ace-jack on the jack-high flushing board, Obrestad held pocket tens which made a set. Wigg was gone.

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Anton Wigg

The counts of all the survivors will appear on the official chip count page once the tournament staff make them available. And we mean official. Accept no substitute. You can also find a detailed account of the entire Day 1A at the links below.

Level 1 & 2 updates
Level 3 & 4 updates
Level 5 & 6 updates
Level 7 & 8 updates

Life wouldn't be the same without our brothers and sisters blogging in other languages, jabbering on in languages we don't understand, and that's just Rick Dacey. You can read the events of the day in Swedish, German and Dutch at the relevant links. Thanks also to photographer Neil Stoddart.

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A local couple, looking frivolous and carefree, in Copenhagen

Join us tomorrow when we do all this again. Do we use the same hands and just change the names? Find out for yourself when our Day 1B coverage starts at 12 noon.

Until then, it's goodnight from Copenhagen.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in European Poker Tour